It’s been real, Texas, but Cali is callin…

Did you know I haven’t been home in a month????  There was a lot of fun stuff going on in September so I decided just to make an adventure of it and pack out of California! The reason I’ve been on the road is, well, hair of course! It’s been great to be in the NaturallyCurly.com offices working with the rest of the team! We have a lot of fun in our day to day and for those of you who are wondering— YES it is like working in a product junkie’s heaven. You just can’t avoid it —-there are bottles and jars of every concoction imaginable in every corner of the office! There has never existed a more hair-positive environment and I absolutely love it!!!

Last night we threw quite the curly bash as part of Tribeza’s StyleWeek. It was a hair show called ShearStyle and featured four of Austin’s top salons in a gorgeous hair-pornorific runway show! Lots of naturals from the NaturallyCurly.com AND a few NaturalSelection readers showed up and it was so great to meet you all!

When you have a party filled with stylists sometimes they just can’t keep their hands to themselves.  Francisco, a local stylist, decided that he wanted many of us naturals to have HUGE hair so using a technique called “rouging” he fluffed our fros to sky high levels.  I was nervous that it was going to take massive amounts of efforts to bring my curls back in, but it actually wasn’t too bad.  I just slept with a deep conditioner in  Washed, conditioned, and used my Deep Leave-In in the morning and voila my curls were back!

 

 

All in all its been an action-packed month and I’ve had so much fun here in Texas and in the Virgin Islands, but honestly, Lola and I are a little tired and we’re very much excited to get back home to California.

To my SF naturals— I MISS YOU ALL and I will be putting together an event for US very very soon so stay tuned!

Happy Friday, y’al!!

“THE CASSIDY GUARANTEE” caught on vid.

So glad to hear that I was issuing “guarantees” on video at the CurlyNikki/Kim Coles LA event where I filmed a little video for the NaturallyCurly.com Curl Stories from the Street series. The guarantee in question is that YOU WILL LOVE YOUR NATURAL HAIR! Tell me—- am I right or am I right?? Do you love your natural hair? I’ve guaranteed it, so if you disagree, please pipe up! We should talk! (I’m serious! Email me! I want to support your journey!)

Check out my video to hear my Curl Story! (Also– I’m fascinated that my purple gloss + purple liner = purple eyes! RIGHT!?)

Virgin Islands Full Event Gallery + Recap Video!

I’m sorry I couldn’t bring you rum, tropical fruits, and conch fritters back from the islands (TSA! Always getting in the way of our fun!!).

BUT I did bring you lots of pictures and video footage so that you could share in on the natural hair experiences from the Virgin Islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix. Enjoy these videos and full gallery from the events and our adventures in the Caribbean!

THE VIDEOS

(full gallery after the jump!)

Continue reading

NaturallyCurly’s Haute Hair Affair THIS Wed in Austin, TX

I’ve made it back to the continental US from the Virgin Islands (after a lovely 9 hours of travel….) For the moment, I’m back in Austin and very excited about an event we’ve got coming up TOMORROW! We’ve pool partied on the East Coast and penthouse partied on the West Coast and its finally time to bring things back home for the NaturallyCurly fam. NC.com is sponsoring ShearStyle as part of Tribeza’s StyleWeek and its going to be an evening of HAIR-HAIR-HAUTE-ASS-HAIR all over the place!!! There will be four of Austin’s top salons who will be presenting runway hair presentations and NC will also be doing a lil sumthinsumthin on the runway that I’m SUPER excited about because it’s going to be all about attendees- not models – showing off their curls! And there will be awesome giveaways. I’ll be there as the hostess of the evening, so if you’re going to make it to the event, please say HELLO and let’s snap a picture.

For the rest of you, I’ll be sure to get you some shots so you can see how it all went down!

Speaking of—–I quasi broke my camera on Sunday evening. WOMP WOMP. And as you’re probably quite aware, I’m all about snapping pix everywhere I go to for the blog! So part of me is sad, but another part of me is excited to get a new camera and take the photography and video of this blog to the next level because I’ve been kind of eyeing some fancy ones!!! See! A silver lining in everything! Stay tuned for deets on my acquisition in this department!

Two Events. Two Days. Two Islands. Too much fun!

It has been a wonderful whirlwind of NATURAL HAIR LOVE down here in the Virgin Islands this weekend!!! We kicked things off of Saturday night in St. Thomas with a workshop/expo at the Windward Passage Hotel. The house was packed to standing room only as new and old naturals alike crowded in to learn about natural hair and have their chance to purchase products that are more difficult to find here on the islands.

I started off with a welcome to the crowd, telling them a little bit about Natural Selection and my natural hair journey. Then I passed over the mic to Felicia Leatherwood who did one of her signature, information-filled, Loving Your Hair with Natural Care Workshops. The audience came ready for information and spent the next hour and a half asking questions about their unique natural hair concerns. I thought it was particularly interesting to see the workshop take on a Caribbean vibe from the opening when the first question asked was how to maximize your products and extend their longevity in an expensive island economy where everything has to be imported (something many of us with a Walgreens or Target down the street don’t really have to worry about. The response by the was was to be conscious of how you use them or ask a manufacturers to purchase their goods in larger sizes or in bulk).

Felicia explains curl type to a rapt audience

After the workshop, we welcomed Rochelle Graham-Campbell aka. BlackOnyx77 from YouTube aka the founder of the Alikay Natural product line. Rochelle shared her story and many great tips on creating a regimen and her signature technique for locking moisture into the hair.

BlackOnyx explains her regimen and words of natural wisdom

After my closing remarks attendees were unleashed onto the expo floor to purchase products from a well-curated collection of natural hair brands: Jane Carter, Komaza, Shea Moisture, Huetiful, Zuresh, Afroveda, Darcy’s Botanicals, Kinky-Curly as well as a host of accessory producers.

Attendees scoping out the SheaMoisture goods

After an intense and action packed 5 hours of the event, we called it a night early only because we all knew we had to get up early to fly over to St. Croix and do it all again the next day.

I was probably the person in the group the most excited about our travel plans to St. Croix, which consisted of hopping in a teeny-weeny six-person plane! We arrived on the air field and walked right up to the plane and I immediately started gushing to the captain about how I just signed up for flight lessons blah blah blah and THEN he rocked my freaking socks by letting me sit in the cockpit with him! Sure it was a 20 minute flight, but it was my first time being so close to the action and I LOVED IT!

Cheesin in while riding shotgun

Living my dream! And YES that is a TangleTeezer that I seem to be clutching onto for dear life.

We landed in St. Croix and were whisked away to the event organizer’s – Denise of MissNaturalista.com – parents’ home for a delicious home cooked meal. We feasted on fresh fish, bread fruit, rice, green fig salad, passion fruit juice, and the most massive avocados I’ve ever seen. After stuffing ourselves to our hearts’ content, it was siesta time. But truth be told, I uploaded pictures to Facebook when I should have been sleeping. Oh well.

And yes, I got seconds. (ok so it was 6 hours later, but I wanted all of this AGAIN)

The island of St. Croix is also stunning. It is noticeably less touristy than St. Thomas and our “touring” of this island has consisted of long drives through winding, lush, green hills from the tops of which you can peek out and see the aquamarine ocean. The vibe seems to be different here and I find it to be a refreshing change of pace from the hustle and bustle of St. Thomas.

View from the balcony of where I'm staying. ::::swoon::::

The St. Croix event was very much similar to the St. Thomas event in terms of how it flowed. I think everyone was a lot more relaxed and comfortable in knowing what to expect having just done it the night before (ok, well I was!!). My most memorable portions of the event are always talking to the people about their hair journeys and their questions in regard to their hair. I still have yet to make it through a natural hair event without someone asking me if I’m wearing a wig, a fact that always tickles me.

A Crucian audience member asks a whether or not she needs to retwist her hair every night (answer: NO)

Towards the end of the night, I noticed a woman with extremely long locs braiding another woman’s hair. I was once again, rocking my one-clip asymmetrical style and thought it might be cool to have the style a little bit longer so I asked her to put a few braids in as sort of a “natural” clip. I swore to myself I would never get cornrows again, but now I have seven of them hooking me up with a half-hawk sort of thing and I absolutely love it! They were done by a loctician/braider named Petra of Nat’ral Xpression. You will be hearing more about her on this blog so stay tuned because I saw some of her clients’ heads and I was thoroughly impressed with her skill and artistry.

Petra + Me. Cornrows weaseled their way back into my life and I don't hate it.

Overall, the feedback from the attendees of both events was 100% positive. This was the first time ever there had been any sort of gathering of the natural hair community in the Virgin Islands. The doubly sold-out events were yet again another testament to the strength and growth of the movement and to the fact that it’s happening all around the world.

I’ll be posting my full galleries of the events and trip + a video about the event in the next couple days or so, but I must retire now because we’re up early in the morning to fly back to St. Thomas (will I be in the cockpit again1!?!!??!?!?!?!?! zomg I can hardly wait!!!) and then, very very sadly, I fly back to Austin in the afternoon. I mean, I like Austin and all, but Austin ain’t surrounded by pristine beaches…ya know?

All in all: #USVI #naturalhair #ftw #gethere #illbeback

UPDATE: TypeF Responds, but Videos Still Viewable

We saw the vids. We were pissed. And told exactly that directly to TypeF. At 5AM EST this morning (Sunday the 9/25) TypeF responded to the over 100 commenters on their YouTube channel with the following statement:

I took a little peek around their YouTube channel and only a PORTION of the natural hair series has been disabled, but many of them are still available on their YouTube channel and their website.

ALL of the original comments on the YouTube channel complaining about the series were deleted, SO if you have it in you to leave one comment more insisting that they disable ALL of the “afro hair” videos, well that would be just jazzy.

Another thought on these videos is that we as a community need to be sure that we’re being encouraging of those who might not know exactly what we’re doing. The purpose of my writing these open letters to TypeF is to make them aware that they need to do their research and due diligence before publishing their highly visible content. My intention was in no way to make fun of or chide the stylist for her efforts because she was obviously *trying*. My ideal outcome of this situation is that TypeF takes down the videos, finds a knowledgable person to reshoot them, and down the road we see Joann Robertson with a head full of healthy natural hair!! I sincerely hope that this whole experience doesn’t push her away from wanting to embrace her natural hair.

My thought is— can we help her out??? Leave a note in the comments with a couple tips and points of advice you would give Miss Joann!

Open letter to TypeF about their misguided and dangerous natural hair videos

Dear TypeF—

 

A friend sent me one of your recently launched videos by stylist JoAnn Robertson on how to style and care for natural hair.  The first video I watched “How To Lay Your Afro Down” was pretty innocuous at first, but then the stylist-vlogger whipped out a paddle brush to “smooth” her hair and I cringed as I watched her brush the surface of her dry, kinky hair.  

Why?  

Because one of the most basic practices of quality natural hair care is that the detangling and smoothing of natural hair should be done with extreme care, using a specific type of tool (preferably a wide tooth comb or a specific type of brush), on well moisturized hair so as not to break and damage the hair.

Highly textured natural hair needs to be treated with with particular attention in an effort to minimize any potential damage.  Unfortunately your videos preach the exact opposite.  I know this because I just sat at watched many of them on both on your YouTube channel and your TypeF website.  I sat in absolute shock as I watched your stylist put direct heat on her hair with a curling iron for a recommended “60-seconds”, use a fine-tooth comb to tease her hair to cover up a “noticeable part”, and completely ignore all fundamental mention of moisturizers, conditioners, and protecting the integrity of natural hair.

As a hair blogger and vlogger, I spend a lot of my personal time dedicated towards educating people about natural hair care, specifically QUALITY natural hair practices.  Unfortunately your video series on “afro hair” -featuring a stylist who has obvious hair damage to begin with along her edges, which is likely caused by longterm wearing of weaves, braids, and wigs- is seriously misguided in providing quality education to a growing community.  What is more is that your videos could actually be extremely detrimental to those attempting to learn about natural hair care because many of the practices demonstrated in them could cause serious, irreparable damage to the hair.

I strongly suggest you to pull the videos, educate yourselves about quality natural hair care, and re-shoot the series. There is a wonderfully wide world of high quality natural hair stylists, practiontioners, and manufacturers who could help you.  I would personally be happy to connect and guide you to key individuals in the natural hair community who could assist you in creating a quality production.

Sincerely,

Cassidy

Founder + Editor

naturalselectionblog.com

 

If you want to encourage TypeF to REMOVE-RESHOOT-REPOST these natural hair videos copy and paste the below text to the TypeF Youtube Channel!

REMOVE your afro hair videos -RESHOOT the videos with quality content – REPOST the new vids and ensure that the #naturalhair community is as healthy as it can be!

Better yet— leave your own comment if you feel so inspired that lets TypeF that we deserve better content and know they can deliver!

Hello from the Virgin Islands!!!

Just getting going down here in paradise and I wanted to get a quick post up about my experience so far here on the islands, which truth be told hasn’t been that much as I’ve been here for less than 24 hours (and have probably slept for about 12 of those because a 3:30am wake up + a cold will do that to ya!!).

BUT!  I have learned some interesting things that I’d like to share with you:

  • Amurricah (kind of): The US Virgin Islands are actually a US Territory.  Sure, they’re located in the Caribbean like other non-US territories (think: Bahamas, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Haiti, etc.), but the US actually purchased them during WWII for their strategic positioning in protecting the continental borders.  One of the islands (Water Island) was snapped up for $10,000 (ok, sure this was 1917, but FOR REAL!?!?  Can I get me an island!!???).  Being a territory means that they citizens of the Virgin Islands are citizens of the US, but cannot vote.  They also have government agencies like the US Postal Service here and use the US Dollar.  The British Virgin Islands are right next door and as you may have guessed, they are part of the UK!
  • Pass the …cars…on the left hand side: Before the US bought the Virgin Islands they were owned by the Dutch and there are still many remnants of the Dutch reign here, such as street signs, buildings, and Dutch affinity organizations.  I also suspect that this is the reason that cars are driven on the left here.

Colorful, colonial Dutch architecture in St. Thomas

  • So Far So Delicious: My trip here started with me landing and being scooped up by a man holding a sign with my name on it then being whisked away in an Escalade with Bad Boyz playing on the TV’s in the headrests.  I was then given a delish passion fruit juice and an island treat called a “Pate” made with salt fish.  The perfect welcome for a hungry traveler!  I also scooped one of my favorite Caribbean eats – Conch Fritters- at a local restaurant where they served it up with 2-for-1 rum drinks.  I made it through 1.25 of those strong a** drinks before I called it quits.

Fish Pate! YUM!

 

Conch Fritters and Rum

  • Speaking of Rum…: Cruzan Rum is made here in the islands!  Interesting that I spent my time sipping the stuff in the media tent at Austin City Limits only to come to the source!  #WHATUPFULLCIRCLE!
  • Cruising Along:  I’m staying on the Charlotte Amelie harbor in St. Thomas where cruise ships make their ports of call on the island.  I realized this this morning when it sounded like Miles Davis was blowing his trumpet in my face, but then looked outside and saw the ship.  And then I saw the glittering water and palm trees.  And I smiled.  And went back to bed.  Seaplanes also land right infront of my window too which are pretty cool.
I recorded a video with the event organizer, Denise Benjamin of Miss Naturalista.com, to tell us a little bit about the event and #naturalhair life here on the islands.  BUT the internet seems to be on “island time” as well so the upload is taking a cool 4 hours (as opposed to its usual 15 minutes or less).  I’ll post it to the blog once it goes live or you can stay tuned to my YouTube channel!
I’m headed out with Felicia Leatherwood and our lovely driver, Emmet, for the afternoon to see some sights around town and then have a production meeting for the event so I’ll have more from the islands soon!!  BESOS!

Kanye! Stevie! Fest-i-Curls! OH MY!!!!

This past weekend, I attended Austin City Limits – a 200,000 person music festival featuring some of the largest names in music. It was a rollicking good time to float from stage to stage to a bar to another stage and to another bar all while steeping in sunshine and live music.

View of the festival grounds with Austin skyline in the background.

 

Um. I also kinda cheated on NaturalSelection over the weekend and was guest blogging up a storm about the festival over on other sites.

First there’s LiveMusicBlog.com where I wrote up reviews on the Kanye West and Stevie Wonder sets. Both were AMAZING shows and were highlights of my festival experience. Check them out here:

Both of these posts come with awesome photo galleries with great shots of the artists’ performances.  Here’s a sneak preview of one of my favorite shots from the galleries:
Then over on NaturallyCurly, I did a round up of the best curls I saw in the crowd and on stage at the festival.  To see that gallery post go here:
In an effort to create a funky, festival-worthy hair style, I used a duckbill clip to pin up one half of my hair to create an asymmetrical volume.  A 10-second style?? Yes please!  I left the clip in and rocked it for a couple days.

With my friend Sarah on ACL Day 2

Then on Sunday (the 3rd day of the festival), I washed and used my Deep Leave-In and was on my way for a day of merry making at the festival complete with more music and making friends with another curly who happened to ALSO be from San Francisco! (See you back on the Left Coast, Ashleigh!)  She’s an excellent photographer who was at the festival shooting the shows and scene for NBC.  (I highly recommend you check out her galleries too!)
It’s been a good time here in Texas and I’ll be back for a quick second next week for Shear Style presented by NaturallyCurly.com.  But by the time you’re reading this, I’ll be on a jetplane down to the Virgin Islands for a few days for a very exciting #naturalhair event!  Stay tuned for updates from the Caribbean!

Uh. Get in on this: Free Sample Set from As I Am!

BAM!

I’ve had my eye on this line for a second now. It’s got great ingredients, a super comprehensive product line, and I’ve heard good reviews. What better way to dig in and try it than with a full on sample set!  Click here to check out the samples and the product line!

Have you ever tried As I Am? What do you think?

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